Compared to many other countries, the principles of Polish labour law often provide employees with better social, income, and labor protections, which can increase the financial and operational risk for companies and employers compared to what may be typical in the client’s home country.
If you’re considering expanding your business to Poland and want to learn more about Polish labour law, here is a brief summary of the most important laws and regulations that affect labour conditions and social security.
If you’re interested in obtaining more detailed information on Polish labor law, we’ve compiled all the relevant information on labor conditions, social security, contract types, probation/notice periods, and terminations into a single document. Please provide your details, and you’ll receive the information promptly.
The minimum wage in Poland is PLN 3,490 (~EUR 741) monthly in the first half year of 2023. As from 1st of July 2023 it will be PLN 3,600 (~EUR 764).
All workers are entitled to an uninterrupted daily rest of at least 11 hours and continuous weekly rest of at least 35 hours or 24 hours in certain cases.
Employees are entitled to initial, periodic and follow-up medical examinations. The employer bears the medical examination costs and, if possible, should schedule them
during work hours. Employees cannot start working without a valid medical certificate stating that there are no contraindictions to working in a specific role.
On average, employees are expected to work 40 hours per week (8 hours a day – 5 days a week). The weekly working time including overtime must not exceed an average of 48 hours in the assumed settlement period and 150 hours during the calendar year.
Statutory minimum holiday is either 20 or 26 days in a year, depending on the employee’s employment record (less then 10 years = 20 days; 10 or more years = 26 days). Education is also taken into account when calculating holiday entitlement (for example, graduation from university is treated as 8 years’ employment). New employees hired during the calendar year are entitled to annual leave in proportion to the period for which they are employed at the new employer.
Unused vacation days are transferred to the following year and must be taken by September 30 of the following year. It is forbidden to pay employees for not taking their leave, except if their employment is ending.
All workers are covered by compulsory sickness insurance. Sick pay is financed by the employer. It is payable to the employee for the first 33 days of incapacity for work in a
calendar year (for the first 14 days, if the employee is aged 50). The right to sick pay is acquired by employees only after 30 days of uninterrupted insurance (the qualifying
period). Every absence due to sickness require a medical certificate signed by a doctor.
Via the Parakar Polish payroll, employees are fully covered on all aspects of Polish Social Security. The employers costs to be made to the Polish Social Security Authorities (ZUS) is between 19.21% and 22.14% of the employee’s gross salary.
Only employees make health insurance contributions in Poland. The employer calculates, deducts and submits the employees’ contribution on their behalf.
Pension + Employee Capital Plans (PPK)
Employees working in Poland will be automatically enrolled into the Statutory Pension Insurance as soon as they start working. The benefits not only include pension per se but also disability benefits.
PPK is a mandatory employee long-term retirement savings program financed jointly by the employee, the employer, and the government and operated by a third party
financial institution. The employer pays a basic contribution of 1.5% of the gross salary to each participating employee. Employers can opt for an additional contribution.
The employer also calculates, deducts and submits the employee contribution to the financial institution which operates PPK.
The employer contribution includes accident insurance, whose amount varies based on employee count and the business sector.
Labour Fund & Emloyee Guaranteed Benefits Fund (FGSP)
Employers must contribute to the unemployment insurance/labour fund. In the event of unemployment, employees who have worked for at least 365 days in the last 18 months and have been paid the minimum wage may be entitled to an unemployment allowance.
In the case of an employer’s insolvency, all claims of workers, previous workers, and their surviving dependents are guaranteed by the employee benefits fund. The employer contributes to this fund as well.
All pregnant employees who work under a contract of employment are entitled to maternity leave (urlop macierzyński) of 20 weeks, of which 6 can be taken before
the due date. In case of a multiple birth, the leave is extended to 31/33/35/37 weeks (depending on the number of children). If the mother wishes to return to work earlier, she can use only the compulsory minimum of 14 weeks’ leave. The rest of the leave can be taken by the child’s father.
The Social Security Institute covers maternity pay at 100% of the employee’s salary.
Employees are entitled to two weeks of paid paternity leave within the first 24 months after the child’s birth (or from the date of adoption, before the child turns 7). The leave can be taken in a maximum of two instalments, each not shorter than one week.
Social Security pays the leave at a rate of 100% of the employee’s salary.
Parents are entitled to a maximum of 32 weeks (34 weeks for multiple births) of paid parental leave, which can start immediately after maternity leave has been fully used.
Parental leave should be used until the end of the calendar year in which the child reaches the age of 6.
Reach out to our experts in Poland, who are always happy to answer your questions about the Polish labour principles.